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Marshal all local resources to battle opioids epidemic

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Marshal all local resources to battle opioids epidemic

Each week, we con- tinue to see rashes of overdose deaths in communities throughout Ohio. A new variation of heroin or fentanyl shows up and the number of overdoses and deaths spike. Each week we read in your paper about the losses in our community.

We recognize that our federal, state, and local leaders have put forth a variety of efforts to address this epidemic, but collectively we have not yet done enough. People throughout Mahoning County, our state and our nation keep dying.

We all need to do more. We need to do more to educate individuals about addiction, we need to do more to treat individuals with addiction, we need to do more to support families impacted by addiction, and we need to do more to remind people that there is hope – hope and understanding that treatment works and people recover.

It’s going to take all of us working together in every community throughout the state to end this epidemic. And we need to make sure we’re taking on this issue on every front, with every available dollar, in every way possible. We need to focus on prevention, education, intervention, interdiction, treatment, and recovery.

We need to ensure access to treatment in real-time. We need to put harm reduction programs in place. We must educate all Ohioans about this epidemic, about addiction, about treatment, and about how to get help. We must talk about how addiction is a chronic disease of the brain and about how treatment works and people recover.

Mahoning County residents who need to find help can reach out to our network of care which includes Meridian HealthCare and Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic. You can also call Help Hotline at (330) 747-2696 or 211 for local support groups and other resources.

Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board has partnered with county offices to provide treatment services within the jail. Additionally we partner with other agencies to provide prevention education in local schools. Another partner is The Coalition for a Drug Free Mahoning County to provide community education events. Our board also contracts with Mercy Health to provide a staff person at the emergency department to provide assistance to individuals and families.

Duane Piccirilli, Youngstown

Piccirilli is executive director of the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

Letter writer sends mixed signals on Syrian refugees

With all due respect to Jim Eidel, his letters to the editor are getting confusing. On April 16, his letter about the attacks in northwestern Syria argued that “the chemical attacks against the innocent people must not be tolerated in a civil society.”

On Jan. 1, Eidel wrote a letter that was published supporting President Donald J. Trump’s planned executive order to ban, among others, Syrian refugees.

Does he not understand that the “innocent people” he wrote about in April are the same “enemies” that he wanted to ban in January? What are they: “innocent people” or “a clear and present danger to the security of this country”?

The blood of these innocent people is on our nation’s hands – we could have allowed them to seek refuge in America.

Perhaps Trump wants endangered Syrians to remain in Syria so he has an excuse to start a war to boost his dropping ratings among his supporters.

I appreciate that The Vindicator shares multiple perspectives, but the recent letters on Syrians by Mr. Eidel show a lack of critical thinking.

Allison Clair, Boardman